WINE GARAGE by chenmeixiu


									                                 WINE GARAGE
                                      DECEMBER 2007 WINE SHIPMENT

Ho, Ho, Ho, ha, ha, ha and oy, oy, oy, it’s that time of year again…the HOLIDAYS! Emma, our daugh-
ter, at six years old, still believes in Santa Claus; cutest thing on Earth. Our family is spending Christ-
mas day in Santa Cruz with some old college friends and Emma says to me, “How is Santa going to
FIND ME in Santa Cruz to give me my presents?!?” with a frightful look on her face, as though she is
going to miss out. “He has magic powers and will find you just fine,” I said to help ease her curiosity.
The Wine Garage Elves also met with Lulu from ILS (your shipper) and they have packed a little gift in
all your wine boxes. Look closely on the bottom of one of the slots and you will see a little tin of
sweets for you and yours. Incredibly delicious truffles made from Annette’s Chocolates here in Napa
Valley, which includes wine from the Wine Garage Cellars. You will notice that the label is sporting a
totally new Wine Garage logo. Yes, we have a whole new look! In the coming days, our web site will
magically transform itself into our new “identity,” that we have been working on since July. Our first
ever wine label propelled us to rethink the whole tow truck logo. One of the hot-shot marketing de-
signers said “Whenever I see a tow truck, it’s towing something, that ‘thing’ is broken. A MAJOR neg-
ative for a logo.” I responded, “The tow truck is towing a wine bottle, representing the wine industry…
Which is broken, by the way, and it’s going back to the Wine Garage… where it’s getting FIXED”. That
response didn’t work; so kicking and screaming I went into the land of a new identity. The new truck
is modeled on an actual 1951 Ford F2 pickup that I traded wine for and is in the process of being re-
stored to it’s former glory this winter and will be parked in our lot.

The 1st Annual Wine Garage Wine Club Referral Contest
Refer as many new members to the club between January 1, 2008 and April 15, 2008 and the Club
Member that has the most sign-ups wins:
• 4 nights, 5 days lodging for up to 8 persons at the guest house at Tudal Winery in St. Helena. 4
bedrooms, 4 baths, pool, bocce court, hot tubs, sauna, gardens, decks, BBQ pits, fire rings, mas-
sage room, huge kitchen and great room, secluded near the Napa River, a private and peaceful set-
ting. Stay in the room once slept in by Joe DiMaggio! * Air fare not included. September and October
are black-out dates.*
• Winemaker BBQ, featuring Massimo Monticelli (winemaker) pouring barrel samples of our amazing
2007 vintage, and yours truly manning the flames over perhaps a freshly shot wild boar or other
yummy vittles. All the wine you can drink from Todd’s private cellar (stuff that is too expensive for the
store to sell). Get to hang out with your favorite Wine Garage employees – try to drink Brooke under
the table, trade Alaska fishing stories with Erin, ride a tractor with Laurie, paint a painting with Linda
OR chat it up with Joy!
• Two cases of wine that YOU personally pick out from the store shelves for your stay.
• Golf Tourney (if you play) hosted by yours truly at Meadowood Country Club (2 foursomes).
• We can be your concierge and assist with activities during your stay, such as winery tours and din-
ner reservations.
• Rules and regulations will be sent via email

                   ORDER WINE TODAY! Call Us 707-942-5332 or 888-690-WINE
                                  WINE GARAGE
                                       DECEMBER 2007 WINE SHIPMENT

Red&White Club
Vina Robles “Huerhuero” Red ’05 Paso Robles: $13.99

Discovered on a trip to the Central Coast last year, Vina Robles is a new winery to keep an eye on.
Started by a bunch of Swiss dudes who wanted to get in the wine grape growing business; their main
business is agriculture. So, they came to America and specifically Paso Robles, instead of battling the
old guard on the Continent. Paso has the “best potential of ANY wine growing region in California,” so
says Robert Parker Jr. and I believe him. Eighty percent of Vina’s grapes are sold to other wineries;
they keep the best fruit for themselves as you will see when you unscrew the cap on this delicious, in-
expensive quaffer. It is a blend of Syrah, Petite Sirah, Tannat, and Touriga. Tannat is a broodingly dark
grape from the South East of France that has black skins and black meat (the inside of a grape).
Touriga Nacional is a variety from Portugal that imparts a delicious minerality and acidity. This wine re-
minds me of a Spanish Tempranillo with nice red fruit like cranberries and strawberries, but the Tannat
gives it full bodied complexity and dark inky purple color. Syrah and Pets adds lush ripe fruit with a
long, flinty finish. A wine like this goes especially well with a rich pot roast or beef stew; the ripe fruit
adding to the richness of the meat but the acidity cutting through the fat.

Lions Run Cabernet Sauvignon ’02 Napa Valley: $24.99
Made by my friend Gary Galleron, and offered only to us at this price because we have been moving
through a bunch of Gary’s back stock at the store. This wine recently sold for $48 per bottle here in
Napa. Gary is fourth generation Napan and his family has a long history in the wine business, starting
in the early 1900’s. At one point they owned vineyards from Mayacamas Mountains to the west, all
the way across the Valley to Howell Mountain in the east. Now only 7 acres remain under the family’s
control. The fruit from this vineyard is from the slopes of Mt. George in the southern part of the Valley
and right next to Palmaz Vineyards (who makes Cab that sells for over $100). The wine is named for
all of the Cougar trails on the hillside above the vineyard. I had my pick of three vintages of this wine
to offer to the club and I chose the 2002 due to the lush, silky, and velvety quality of the fruit. This vin-
tage was a hot one and Gary extracted all he could from these berries with extended maceration –
letting the skins be in contact with the juice for weeks. Dark black in the glass, aromas of strawberry
pie, rose petals, and earth. All organic fruit and 100% new French Oak, with the cooperage adding a
creamy vanilla, and crème de cassis component to the overall flavor. Saddle leather, cedar, and to-
bacco round out the finish with soft but evident tannins. Beef Wellington, elegant – but old school – is
my call to pair with this incredible wine find.

                    ORDER WINE TODAY! Call Us 707-942-5332 or 888-690-WINE
                                 WINE GARAGE
                                     DECEMBER 2007 WINE SHIPMENT

Red&White Club
Andrew Lane Cabernet Sauvignon ‘02 Napa Valley: $15.99

Same year as Gary’s Cab (see above) – I chose this wine for the club for 2 reasons:
1. So you can compare two Napa wines side by side to detect differences in winemaking styles
2. And this is one hell of a wine for fifteen bucks.
This is a negotiant wine; a pretty fancy name for buying bulk wine juice and blending the different lots
together. Most of the hidden costs in winemaking are eliminated in bulk juice purchases – you get fin-
ished wine but you can still tweak it before you go to the bottling line. There are two major bulk juice
brokers in California, Ciatti and Turrentine. Call them up, tell them what county (Napa), region (Stag’s
Leap), vintage, and varietals, and in 24 hours you can have 25 different samples on your desk. What
you don’t get is the price and producer. Pick what wines you like and then the prices come back – by
the gallon. Most high end Napa Cab goes for upwards of $40/gallon. Some could be as low as
$5/gallon, but probably not very good. You are never told who made the wine; the wineries generally
sell bulk when they have too much juice from a big harvest or it’s not up to snuff or exacting stan-
dards for their brand. Sometimes insider knowledge plays in. Rumors begin to float when a large Cab
house sells hundreds or thousands of gallons of say Silver Oak, Stags Leap, or Caymus juice to one
of the big bulk brokers. I have heard the rumors but I bought bulk for our forthcoming “_ gallon from
the barrel” program which debuts this winter. The juice I bought was from winemaker friends who
work at very reputable wineries – cult wineries in fact- but I’ll never tell and I may never get the first
crack at a bulk “float” as it’s called. This Cab is from mostly Stags Leap fruit. More pronounced wood
notes (no French Oak here), a little more tannin (perhaps younger vines), and more truncated texture
(winemaking skills) than Lion’s Run (see above), but what a wine (for $15)!!! Deep and dark color.
Cola, juniper berries, and roast coffee on the nose. Spicy cigar box, toasted oak, with blackberry,
licorice, and plum notes on the finish with pronounced tannin.

Pezzi King Chardonnay Bacigalupi Vineyard ’04 Russian River: $20.99
The rep who sells this wine couldn’t believe the deal that I scored from the winery GM Julia Ghilardoni,
an old friend. Made by Gabriella Gazzano, who perfected her craft working with Helen Turley at Fritz
Cellars and Phalmeyer, this woman knows how to make a yummy Chardonnay! Ripe apricot, peach,
pear and citrus infused chardonnay. Notes of roasted hazelnuts, vanilla caramel ice cream and smoke
on the palate. Lush and full bodied with an amazing mouth feel and texture. Naturally fermented in
40% hand selected new French oak barrels, aged sur-lies, stirred weekly, and 100% Malolactic Fer-
mentation to produce the rich buttery texture. What a pedigree of winemaking and vineyard for under
twenty five bucks!! This wine was the first Chard I grabbed when the Dungeness crab season finally
started here, after all the oil was cleaned up from the famous Costco Buzan accident in SF Bay.
Chard and Crab – talk about a match made in Heaven.

                   ORDER WINE TODAY! Call Us 707-942-5332 or 888-690-WINE
                                  WINE GARAGE
                                      DECEMBER 2007 WINE SHIPMENT

Red&White Club
Treana Marsanne/Viognier Blend “Mer Solei” Vineyard ‘05 Central Coast: $19.99
What to talk about first: Santa Lucia Highlands, Marsanne or Mer Soleil? You may have heard about
the Mer Soleil Chardonnay ($42) made by Caymus from the Santa Lucia Highlands in Monterey
County; this wine is from the same vineyard. The SLH appellation is on the Eastern side of the moun-
tain range and one of the coolest growing regions in California and produces world class Chard and
Pinots. Mer Soliel (sea and sun) is made the son of the Caymus folks and Treana is a second label of
Caymus – they also make the Liberty School brand. Back in the day when SLH was 1st discovered
as a great wine grape region, the land was cheap and Caymus invested wisely. This wine is what the
industry refers to as “pretty.” Ripe, round, and fat, which is pretty to some of us out there. You will get
an explosion of stone fruit on the nose with honeysuckle and crème caramel. Apricot, peaches,
pineapple, papaya; the fruit just goes on and on. Don’t confuse fruit with sweetness here, as this is
bone dry but very ripe. The finish brings out the vanilla from the cooperage and lingers on the palate
forever. It was fermented in 40% new French oak, with 10% being done in stainless steel to bring out
some minerality. The lees were stirred once per week to produce profound richness. (Marsanne is
found in the Northern and Southern Rhone regions of France and blended with Viognier mostly in the
latter) We had this wine with friends in celebration of Shabbat and Chanukah; where I made the best
potato latkes that ANYONE there had ever had. Sautéed leeks and chives added to the shredded
Yukon gold potatoes with eggs and a little matzo meal, fried a deep golden brown in…..GOOSE FAT,
topped with crème fraiche, smoked salmon, and caviar. Can’t make them ahead of time
either….needs to be devoured right from the grill. The rich wine brought everything together. Shalom!

Coppola “Directors Cut Reserve” Chardonnay ‘05 RRV: $24.99
I gave you some background on ole Francis in the last notes, when we featured the Viognier in the
November Club. Sold only at his new winery in Geyserville and also to the Wine Garage Club Mem-
bers, I scored this delicious Chardonnay for you too. Crisp green apple happily pairs up with lemon,
grapefruit, pear, butterscotch, and banana flavors. A touch of clove and warm, toasty oak linger on
the finish. Aged in a combination of new French oak and stainless steel, this 100% Chardonnay wine
retains just the right amount of acidity. Perfect balance between butter and oak. Better hurry on this
one with any re-orders. Francis could pull the plug on me any minute.
This wine pairs great with Chicken Pot Pie, Pennsylvania Dutch style, that is.

                   ORDER WINE TODAY! Call Us 707-942-5332 or 888-690-WINE

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